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1993 Toyota Camry/Vienta Overheating


Nifty2009
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Hi all.

This problem has got me stumped. I have a 1993 Toyota Vienta V6 (3VZ-FE) that has been overheating.

The problem seems to be once the radiator gets under a lot of pressure. The car is fine around town etc. But after driving on the highway (2kRPM - 3kRPM) the engine overheats after a while. It's done 242,000 km's so i've been told it may be the head gasket. I've taken it in for the Carbon Monoxide test at a radiator specialist and it shows no head gasket problem. The radiator has been flushed. The car is not losing any water at all, but when it is overheating I pop the bonnet and the Coolant overflow is FULL. Now, this is usually empty because no matter how many times I full up the coolant overflow I will check it again and it will be bone dry. Yet the radiator is full and so is the filler cap on the engine.

Natrad do not want to do a proper clean of the radiator because it is pressed brass and they are worried it will split when they re-press it. But, in NZ my mum had a car the same as mine with the 3VZ (though I think they are stamped 'Scepter' over there, not Vienta) and they pulled her radiator apart and it was fine. Not sure if someone's trying to rip me off or he is telling the truth. Now that its coming into summer its really not helping the engine temp. The fan works fine, when the temp rises I can hear the fan roaring. I usually pull over when it gets hot and rev the car to get the fan spinning faster (because its hydraulically driven off the power steering) and that cools the car back to normal temp.

Don't think I have missed anything. Thank in advance for any help :D

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At the radiator place, did they do a pressure test on the radiator. If it normally runs dry, obviously there is a leak, most likely a hose that is not easily visible. A pressure test should highlight a leak.

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Yep, pressure test came back fine. The radiator it never dry, ONLY the coolant bottle. The radiator never loses water. Have not checked thermostat but surely it would overheat around town if it was the thermostat?

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anything is possible

also, remove the coolant bottle and check for cracks. I know you said there are no water pools under car when parked, but while your checking stuff, it couldn't hurt.

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